Is your workplace prepared to have employees from five different generations?
Gen Y, Gen Z, Millennials, Baby Boomers, Traditionalists. We are constantly trying to classify people within a similar age group because they share many of the same experiences, attitudes, and values. Assigning nomenclature to categorize populations can be helpful in conducting studies, but when it comes to basic human needs, research has shown that the various generations are more united than divergent. The needs to be heard, feel supported, grow and develop, connect and socialize, and of course the need to disconnect permeates across all generations. This filters over to the workplace environment, and it is how we seek to address these needs that may differ across groups. One individual may say they can only focus in an office, another only with headphones in a busy coffee shop. The basic needs are the same; how they are solved is where the uniqueness exists. Nevertheless, the next few years will see five generations existing simultaneously within one workplace and it helps to understand the next cohort to join the ranks.
The next generation of workers to enter the workforce is Gen Z, also referred to as “iGen.” Born into the digital age between 1996 to 2012, this generation has never known a time without modern technology. Much speculation has been made about how Gen Z will embrace the workplace, and what changes the workplace will undergo to support them.